Under floor Buttkicker LFE or other transducer experience? - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

 
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post #1 of 8 Old 10-12-14, 01:22 AM Thread Starter
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Under floor Buttkicker LFE or other transducer experience?

I'm curious if anybody has any experience with using a bass transducer under a suspended floor they would be able to share? I did a search here and found one post in another thread where somebody spoke about a positive experience, though that was a few years ago, hence my starting a new thread.

I recently added an SVS PB-2000 to my setup and integrated my old Paradigm PDR-10 into the mix and am really happy with the results. I had no idea what I had been missing in the LF department prior to this. While I have a very large room, I now feel and hear bass like I never did previously. I just watched Transformers: Age of Extinction and was blown away by the visceral and concussive experience. Perhaps even more so than some other films like U-571, Das Boot, Black Hawk Down and Saving Private Ryan. I don't know that I need deeper bass extension, though I'm intrigued by what I have read about transducers. My only experience with this has been at theme parks and specialty theater venues.

As I started to research this I ran across Buttkicker's installation guide online and saw they recommended a sub-floor placement for their LFE unit. As I have a suspended floor in my living room where my HT is located, with a suspended ceiling below in the game room, this sounds like a great option for me. However, I've found little in the way of posts from others who have taken this approach. I assume many have basement HTs with concrete floors for whom this isn't even an option, hence the plethora of discussions here and elsewhere about using these in furniture or risers.

Any real world experience anybody would care to share? Is it a good thing to do? Any pitfalls to be aware of?
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post #2 of 8 Old 10-12-14, 07:58 AM
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Re: Under floor Buttkicker LFE or other transducer experience?

I use an Ibeam VT200 bass transducer under the floor of our mainfloor stereo music system.

http://www.parts-express.com/sonic-i...haker--300-920

Wife and I like to feel the floor vibrating when watching blu-ray concerts, but more often than not, the sub needs to be turned up too loud before the floor starts to vibrate. So went with the VT200 and the effect is awesome, your eyes are drawn to the bass player during the concerts, following every note. Sub in that system is sold now, no need for it. I've not watched many movies on that system as I have a dedicated theater in the basement (yes, concrete floor), so can't really comment of the tactile effect for movies. But for Blu-ray concerts, I wouldn't be without it.
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post #3 of 8 Old 10-12-14, 10:25 AM
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Re: Under floor Buttkicker LFE or other transducer experience?

I have only experienced a few transducers and all but one of them was "fake" feeling to me. The Crowson transducer is the one that has a very realistic feel to single digits. I have a friend with a concrete floor and 8 18" sealed subs. There was almost no tactile feel with the subs but plenty of bass. The Crowsons give the same feeling I get with my subs on a suspended floor.
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post #4 of 8 Old 10-12-14, 01:41 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Under floor Buttkicker LFE or other transducer experience?

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hardeng wrote: View Post
I use an Ibeam VT200 bass transducer under the floor of our mainfloor stereo music system.


Wife and I like to feel the floor vibrating when watching blu-ray concerts, but more often than not, the sub needs to be turned up too loud before the floor starts to vibrate. So went with the VT200 and the effect is awesome, your eyes are drawn to the bass player during the concerts, following every note. Sub in that system is sold now, no need for it. I've not watched many movies on that system as I have a dedicated theater in the basement (yes, concrete floor), so can't really comment of the tactile effect for movies. But for Blu-ray concerts, I wouldn't be without it.
Thanks for sharing your personal experience and the link. The white paper links on that webpage were very informative about the tactile transducer technology and interesting to read. You've given me something additional to think about now. I think I'm looking more for the ULF (< 40 Hz; maybe <20 Hz ?) tactile response of the "shakers" for movie effects than the broader music frequency response the I-Beam provides. I was not familiar at all with this aspect of what was available, though had I been aware of it I think I would have seriously considered it instead of purchasing a better sub. As I stated above, I'm thrilled with the sound and tactile sensation down to at least 20 Hz I'm now enjoying with my current setup. As always though, I guess I don't if I'm missing something if I haven't experienced it.

Perhaps more importantly you have given me further confirmation, albeit with a different device than the BK LFE, that a single under floor device may well accomplish what I'm hoping for. I might be chasing an elusive "will o' the wisp" here FAIK, but I'm intrigued now about eking out the lowest frequencies in movie sound tracks, even though I understand that is the minority of movies. Augmenting the tactile sensation in the just audible range seems worthwhile too, though I do wonder if I will need to pursue DSP with this as others have suggested too (BTW, I did read your excellent comment on the Parts Express page). I have no interest (nor the space nor inclination to spend that much money) in pursuing multiple huge subs to achieve that end for subsonic sensation, so this approach just makes a lot of sense to me.
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post #5 of 8 Old 10-12-14, 02:11 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Under floor Buttkicker LFE or other transducer experience?

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I have only experienced a few transducers and all but one of them was "fake" feeling to me. The Crowson transducer is the one that has a very realistic feel to single digits. I have a friend with a concrete floor and 8 18" sealed subs. There was almost no tactile feel with the subs but plenty of bass. The Crowsons give the same feeling I get with my subs on a suspended floor.
Thanks for your comment. The more I have read from people about bass response in general, the more I have begun to appreciate how complicated of a subject this really is. Many people use terms like "pressurizing the room" rather loosely in my estimation. While there certainly is a very real phenomenon there, that hardly explains all of what we're hearing and feeling in this bass region IMHO. I think I understand now why people (on internet forums anyway) typically seem to recommend these huge subs, as many rooms apparently aren't very bass friendly and/or the individuals have set them up incorrectly. I certainly gained a lot by stepping up with a bigger/better sub and have a huge room, > 7000 cu ft plus an open stairwell, hallway, duct work, etc. Threads elsewhere suggested I would not be able to pressurize my room and maybe I don't, however, the suspended floor and make up of the room just seem to working for me both in sound and tactile sensation.

I've read good things about the Crowsons too. I have a hunch from what I've limitedly read there is some difference between what one senses with these transducers attached to a piece of furniture vs. in the floor itself. I think somebody mentioned in a thread I read elsewhere that the disconnect between what their butt and feet felt destroyed the illusion. With the room shaking it felt like T-Rex was on the way; with the chair alone shaking, not so much. Already feeling as you do the bass in my chest and up through the suspended floor from the subs, this makes a lot of sense to me.

Thanks again to both of you. I'm just trying to gain as much as I can from others experiences to decide if this is worthwhile pursuing, though admittedly it's not that big of an expense.. I posted a similar thread over on AVS and while I'll see if I get more responses over time, I'm beginning to think that only a small minority of HT folks actually mount these units under the floor.
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post #6 of 8 Old 10-12-14, 07:17 PM
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Re: Under floor Buttkicker LFE or other transducer experience?

Here's my Buttkicker LFE install I did years ago with 2 mounted under the floor. I used the Buttkicker recommended install method with 2x6s between the joists. It is mounted under the center of the room to provide the most effect.




If you're fortunate enough to have access under your room like I do, transducers are a must have.
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post #7 of 8 Old 10-12-14, 10:42 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Under floor Buttkicker LFE or other transducer experience?

Thanks, deton8r! Appreciate you sharing your rig with us.
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post #8 of 8 Old 10-13-14, 06:20 AM
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Re: Under floor Buttkicker LFE or other transducer experience?

I must try that 2x6" mounting method for my Ibeam VT200. Right now I just have it bolted to the underside of the plywood and the effect is fairly localized to a circle of about 3 feet diameter.
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